We are an international literary society devoted to the 20th century English novelist Barbara Pym, shrewd observer of a certain kind of middle-class Englishwoman, no longer young and not quite beautiful, whom society finds it easy to overlook. She is just as shrewd an observer of the people that these women, vigilant and perceptive, themselves observe.

The spinster heroine of Excellent Women, Pym’s most famous novel, says, “I suppose an unmarried woman just over 30, who lives alone and has no apparent ties, must expect to find herself involved or interested in other people’s business, and if she is a clergyman’s daughter then one might really say that there is no hope for her.”

The Society holds its Annual General Meeting at St. Hilda's College, Oxford University, every summer and also holds a conference in Boston, MA every spring, a spring meeting in London, and other events. Our newsletter, Green Leaves, is published twice yearly.

2020 North American Conference

An Unsuitable Attachment

Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA
20-22 March 2020


2020 Spring Meeting

'Excellent April': Barbara Pym, Elizabeth von Arnim,
literary 'mothers' and the comic novel

Dr. Nick Turner

St. Alban's Centre, Holborn ,London
Sunday 19 April 2020


2020 Annual General Meeting & Conference

"Barbara Around the World"

St. Hilda's College, Oxford
4-6 September 2020